Maria ‘Ping’ Lwoy Matthews
Maria aka Pingy is a proud Baard Niminburr woman and is an owner of the small business, Mr and Mrs Potato Head, based in and servicing the town of Derby and surrounding areas.
Maria spent her early years growing up on country, learning about bush tucker and respect for the land from her mum and elders. Schooling took her away down south and marriage took her east.
After her two children had grown and left home Maria at the age of 38 joined the Royal Australian Navy to train as a chef. Whilst serving her country she was awarded a group bravery citation for her involvement in the rescue of passengers from a small boat disaster out on Ashmore Reef.
Maria returned home with her husband Malcolm to Derby in 2017 and together in 2018 they started the towns weekly soup kitchen. With help from corporations like Ngunga Womens, DAHS and Winun Ngari and a few local volunteers the soup kitchen provides up to 150 hot meals a week. For this endeavor in 2019 she was awarded the Derby Citizen of the year.
Having only a small involvement in last year's Strong Women Business Gathering , this year Maria is excited to be in at the grass roots, planning and encouraging women of all ages and background to come share and learn what they are capable of achieving. To realize that the world is truly their oyster and you just have to have the right tools to do it and that is what this group is all about, the right tools.